Here's one for the Pirates
By ASHLEE STALLINGA
Mt. Pleasant News
In my first column, I said I would do something new for every column that I wrote. Last time that “something” was graduating from college, moving to Mt. Pleasant, starting a full-time job and taking out the trash• — in short, being an adult.
This column’s something new is…drum roll, please…going to a movie by myself.
Okay, it’s not earth shattering. But it was something I’d never done. Maybe I’ve always thought that I would get too many pitying looks. I do know people who prefer going to movies alone…but I never really thought it was for me.
Regardless, I went to the Fridley Theatre on Tuesday to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides. It wasn’t that I was dying to see the movie, really; but it was Tuesday night, I had accomplished most of the adult-like things I had on my to-do list, and it was time for a break. Plus, I heard that Tuesday is free popcorn night, and I’m a sucker for free things — it’s either the Dutch or the lingering college student in me.
So I walked over to the theatre, said, “One for Pirates.” I waited for the “Oh…you’re alone” look of pity — nothing. Kind of anti-climatic, really.
So I moved on to the next counter to get my free popcorn. Of course, since popcorn is dry I needed to buy a soda, and since popcorn is salty, I needed sweet candy to go with it — see, that’s where they get you.
The first scene of the movie made me question my decision to venture out alone. It was a little too scary for me. But the story progressed to the funny parts soon enough.
I promise not to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but I will say that the plot revolves around the fountain of youth (that much was in the previews). As the movie started, all I could think was that if Jack Sparrow finds the fountain of youth, they’re going to make about eight more Pirates movies. I won’t tell you whether or not you can expect that to happen.
About halfway through the movie — and all the way through the soda — I realized that the worst part about going to a movie alone is not the supposed pitying looks, or the lack of comfort during frightening scenes. The absolute worst part is that if you have to leave the theatre for any reason, e.g., to use the restroom, there is no one to fill you in on what you missed.
Overall, the experience of seeing a movie alone wasn’t nearly as lonely as I expected. There were bad aspects: I didn’t have anyone with me to analyze the movie afterwards, and, like I said — no one to fill me in on parts I had to miss. But there were good aspects, too: I still laughed at Jack Sparrow’s antics; I still enjoyed watching the movie. In fact, the movie itself was, in my opinion, much better than the second or third one (none will be better than the first, of course). If I had to wait for someone else to go with me, I might not have seen it at all.
There’s one more thing — I don’t know if it’s good or bad. After watching Pirates movies, I tend to talk like a pirate. It is funny; it is also against my will and often against my better judgment. The effect generally lasts for an hour or two. This time, there was no one to witness it.
• Note: This week, I put my green-tagged, black bag of trash out on Tuesday night…and did not take into account the holiday scheduling. But this time, it was only one sun-baked bag of trash in my apartment for one day. I’m learning.